World Record Holder Amaury Leveaux Announces Retirement

A month ago, Frenchman Amaury Leveaux announced that he was taking a year off to recover for a run to the 2016 Summer Olympics. Today, he tells France’s L’equipe that his career has ended at 28 years old.

Leveaux says that after speaking to his family and taking some time, he decided that he’s accomplished enough in swimming, and that though it was not an easy decision, he feels comfortable walking away.

Leveaux is the owner of 4 Olympic medals, including a gold from the 400 free relay in London in 2012. He swam the lead-off leg there in 48.13 in the final, putting the French and their anchor Yannick Agnel in position to overtake Ryan Lochte of the United States for gold.

He was in the same position in 2008, leading off with a 47.91 in the famous Lezak race, where he wound up with silver.

He was also on the silver-medal winning 800 free relay at the 2012 Olympics, and won his lone individual Olympic medal with a silver in the 50 from 2008 in Beijing.

The Frenchman retires as the 6th-fastest of all-time in the 50 free in long course (21.25) and 16th on the all-time 100 free list in long course (47.76). He is the 100 freestyle World Record holder over short course meters (44.94 – though his country mate Florent Manaudou is creeping awfully close to that number) and the European Record holder in SCM in the 50 free with a 20.48.

He was 8-times a European Champion in short course meters (half of which came in individual events), to go with once over long course. His career will come to a close with a World Championship gold medal from 2013, his only such gold medal. In his only swim in Barcelona, he led France off with a 49.14 in prelims, which wasn’t fast enough to have him selected for the finals group that took the title.

With this retirement, perhaps, the changing of the guard in French sprinting is all-but-complete. Alain Bernard and Leveaux are retired; Fred Bousquet was a last-minute scratch from the European Championships to try and save his body a bit for 2016. Fabien Gilot is still in the mix for relay swims, but the torch now belongs to the generation of Stravius, Manaudou, and Agnel.


Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bobo gigi
7 years ago

One of the funniest swimmers ever.
A big natural talent.
Not the greatest worker.
French swimming will miss Amaury Leveaux.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Tribute to Amaury Leveaux

50 free olympic silver medal in 2008.
He revealed later he had eaten a hamburger for breakfast a few hours before the final. 🙂

bobo gigi
7 years ago

100 free short course world record in 2008

Trent Richardson
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Love watching this race. He crushes some of the fastest men in the world off the start. Very impressive.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

I have found a video of the Manaudou’s 100 free.
It’s filmed on a TV. Not optimal but still better than nothing.

7 years ago

In light of this news, France may never have that fire power to bring down the US in the 4x200free relay (at least, this generation), guess it’ll be on the Aussies and the Chinese

7 years ago

So sad about it…hope he decide to come back to give a hand to his team for 2016 Olympics, expecially for 800m relay, in which he can be very useful

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »